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Wendy’s: ‘Aye’ to Canada, ‘Nyet’ to Russia

Wendy’s: ‘Aye’ to Canada, ‘Nyet’ to Russia

Dublin, OH – Fast food giant Wendy’s has announced a major overhaul of its international operations with almost simultaneous moves to increase its Canadian footprint and reduce its presence in Russia.

On the Canadian front, Wendy’s currently operates 367 restaurants across the country, 230 of which are franchises. By early next year, the company said, the remaining stores that are company owned will also be franchise operations.

According to sources, the company is betting on Canadian franchisors having a better understanding of the Canadian fast food market with the goal of opening at least 100 additional franchises in Canada over the next six years.

Wendy’s is the third-largest burger chain in Canada, behind global mega-giant McDonald’s and A&W. The company has a joint real estate venture with Canadian donut king Tim Hortons called ‘TimWen’, that has Wendy’s leasing 42 facilities across the country for Wendy’s/Tim Hortons combo restaurants.

At the same time it announced its expansion in Canada, Wendy’s said it will close the eight burger restaurants it’s opened in Russia since 2010.

Wendy’s, which had originally planned to open 180 locations in Russia, has cited disagreements with its local partner, Wenrus, for the decision.

The Russian franchiser, the Ohio-based company said, “has not expressed interest in growing Wendy’s business in Russia, nor have they shown the resources to successfully operate the existing restaurants on a long-term basis.”

Currently, Wendy’s operates more than 6,500 Wendy’s restaurants in the US and 27 countries including Singapore, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Singapore, Guatemala, Japan, Argentina, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates, the Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.



BRICs Meet in Brazil, Create Bloc Development Bank

Los Angeles, CA – Leaders of the BRICS group of emerging powers – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have decided to create their own development bank as a counterweight to what they perceive are “western-dominated” financial organizations like the US-based World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The move came during the BRICS Summit earlier this week in Fortaleza, Brazil. The summit comes as the five countries, whose economies together represent 18 percent of the world total, are experiencing sharp slowdowns in their once fast-paced rates of growth.

The new development bank will reportedly be based in Shanghai and is expected to be functional within two years. It will be capitalized at $50 billion, a figure that could grow to $100 billion to fund infrastructure projects. The fund would also have $100 billion at its disposal to weather economic hard times.

The new development bank’s first director will reportedly be from India.

“We remain disappointed and seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms, which negatively impacts on the IMF’s legitimacy, credibility and effectiveness,” the group said in a joint press release.

The BRICs leaders are now in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, meeting with their counterparts from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and several other Latin American nations to discuss future economic and trade cooperation.

BRIC giant China is particularly interested in Latin America. After this week’s discussions, Chinese President Xi Jinping will stay in Brazil to launch a China-Latin America forum with the leaders of several regional countries including Cuba, Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

China is growing in influence in the region. Last year, the country, two-way trade with the region amounted to more than $261 billion.


USCOC, NAM Oppose More Sanctions on Russia

Washington, DC – In a major policy shift, the US Chamber of Commerce (USCOC)  and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), two of the largest business groups in the US, have publicly come out in opposition to the sanctions imposed by the White House on Russia following that country’s February military incursion into neighboring Ukraine.

The groups ran newspaper advertisements last week in several publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, asserting that “the only effect” of additional sanctions would be “to bar US companies from foreign markets and cede business opportunities to firms from other countries.”

Both groups had, previously, confined their opposition to the sanctions in a series of private meetings with Obama Administration officials.

The ads ran under the headline, “America’s Interests Are at Stake in Russia and Ukraine“.

Its text read: “With escalating global tensions, some US policymakers are considering a course of sanctions that history shows hurts American interests. We are concerned about actions that would harm American manufacturers and cost American jobs. The most effective long-term solution to increase Americas global influence is to strengthen our ability to provide goods and services to the world through pro-trade policies and multilateral diplomacy.”

Jay Timmons, NAM president and CEO, wrote, “History shows that unilateral sanctions don’t work. President Reagan recognized this reality three decades ago when he lifted the ineffective grin embargo on the Soviet Union.”

The only effect of such sanctions, Timmons said, “is to bar US companies from foreign markets and cede business opportunities to firms from other countries. It’s time to put American jobs and growth first.”

US workers and industries, wrote USCOC President and CEO, Thomas J. Donohue, “pay the cost of unilateral economic sanctions that have little hope of increasing the United States ability to achieve its foreign policy goals.”

Both the US and European Union have imposed penalties against Russian companies, as well Ukrainian supporters of the separatists with Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening to retaliate against US and European companies if broader sanctions are imposed.

US officials have said that the current sanctions now in place have fueled a record $60 billion capital outflow in the first quarter of this year, as well as losses in Russia’s stock market and currency.

The Ukrainian government, the US and its European Union allies say Russia is fueling the conflict by providing manpower and weapons including tanks and anti-aircraft missiles to separatist rebels in Ukraine.